Leinster, champions Saracens and Toulouse will each be guaranteed a top ranking in tier 1 when the pool draw for the Heineken Champions Cup takes place in Lausanne, Switzerland on Wednesday.
The trio receive a number 1 seeding on account of their domestic success, Leinster in the GUINNESS PRO14, Saracens in the Gallagher Premiership, and Toulouse who won Saturday’s Top 14 final.
The draw for the Heineken Champions Cup at the Centre de Congrès Beaulieu takes place immediately after the draw for next season’s Challenge Cup pools, which begins at 1pm Irish time on Wednesday.
Both draws will be streamed live on www.epcrugby.com, official tournament Facebook channels and BT Sport, with live broadcasts also on Virgin Media Sport and beIN Sports.
The event hosts will be BT Sport’s Sarra Elgan and Matthieu Lartot from France Télévisions, with Bryan Habana (Channel 4) and Dimitri Yachvili (beIN Sports) conducting the draws.
Twenty teams from the GUINNESS PRO14, the Gallagher Premiership and the Top 14 have qualified on merit for the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup, including all four Irish provinces.
HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP TEAMS – 2019/20 SEASON:
GUINNESS PRO14 – LEINSTER, Glasgow Warriors, MUNSTER, ULSTER, CONNACHT, Benetton Rugby, Ospreys
Gallagher Premiership – Saracens, Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester, Northampton Saints, Harlequins, Bath, Sale Sharks
Top 14 – Toulouse, Clermont Auvergne, Lyon, La Rochelle, Racing 92, Montpellier
The teamss will be divided into four tiers of five and a preliminary draw will be conducted to establish tier 1, with two of the three second-ranked sides – Exeter Chiefs, Glasgow Warriors and Clermont Auvergne – joining Leinster, title holders Saracens and Toulouse in the top tier.
Once tier 1 has been established, the remaining three tiers will fall into place. Tier 2 will include the three third-ranked teams from the leagues – Gloucester, Munster and Lyon – as well as the second-ranked team which was not drawn into tier 1 and the fourth-ranked team from the same league as the team which was not drawn into tier 1.
Tier 3 will include the two sides ranked fourth which are not in tier 2 as well as the three fifth-ranked teams from each league – Harlequins, Connacht and Racing 92. Tier 4 is complete and contains the sixth-ranked sides from each league – Bath, Benetton Rugby and Montpellier – as well as Sale Sharks and the Ospreys.
When the tiers are completed, the main draw for the five pools will be made and during the draw some teams may have to be placed directly into a pool in order to ensure that the key principles apply. Click here for a detailed explanation of the Heineken Champions Cup pool draw.
HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP WEEKENDS – 2019/20 SEASON:
Round 1: November 15/16/17, 2019
Round 2: November 22/23/24
Round 3: December 6/7/8
Round 4: December 13/14/15
Round 5: January 10/11/12, 2020
Round 6: January 17/18/19
Quarter-Finals: April 3/4/5
Semi-Finals: May 1/2/3
Final: Stade de Marseille, Saturday, May 23